Small Countries in Big Literature

I will be reading from some forthcoming non-fiction about Bulgaria at this event at Unnameable Books (a fave) in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn on 02/01. I’ll be there alongside Charlotte Crowe, who will be reading from her novel set in Greece. This reading series is a project of the Elizabeth Kostova Foundation with support from New York State Council on the Arts.

Plummeting Appliances, Dying Verbs, Enslaved Automatons, and Other Objects

Louis Chude-Sokei_cropped
Photograph by Diego Sierralto

This reading, which included Joshua Cohen, Louis Chude-Sokei, Jim Krusoe, Joanna Ruocco, and Matthew Derby, was held at 601 Artspace and coincided with their exhibit The Unspecific Index, which contained largely photographic works dealing with post-human ontology. There were works by John Baldessari, love letters from Buckminster Fuller, and a photographic piece by George Christoph Lichtnberg that Louis and I are examining in the photo above. Louis read a great piece on Joice Heth, a sometimes slave owned/employed by P.T. Barnum and exhibited variously as George Washington’s 100+ year-old wet nurse or as an android, depending on Barnum’s interpretation of the audience’s whims. This piece later appeared in McSweeney’s The Believer. All five writers’ talks can be watched here. Additional information about the event and photographs can be viewed here.

Brian Dewan! Stacey Levine! Monica Youn!

Stacey Levine photographed by David Moscovich
Stacey Levine photographed by David Moscovich

This was a reading / concert I put together at Unnameable Books on what proved to be one of the hottest days of the year. David Moscovich did a great write-up of it for Electronic Books’ The Outlet blog. Stacey Levine is the author of Frances Johnson, Girl with Brown Fur, and Dra-. Her collection My Horse and Other Stories won the PEN/West Fiction Award. “Stacey Levine ignores lyricism as an evolutionary dead end. Life is fractious and dire, her prose style says; let fiction serve as razor and torch.” –Bookforum

Brian Dewan photographed by David Moscovich

Brian Dewan performs original compositions as well as odd traditional folk songs using electric zither/autoharp, accordion, organ and homemade electronics. Dewan’s invention the Swarmatron was used extensively in the soundtrack to The Social Network. His visual art has appeared on album artwork for David Byrne, Neutral Milk Hotel and They Might Be Giants. Dewan has also performed a series of educational film strips, one of which was included on the first of McSweeney’s Wholpin DVDs. Continue reading

A Hundred Syncopated Pacemakers: An Evening with Adam Wilson and Darius James

A Hundred Syncopated Pacemakers 2_405I got to read with Darius James, Adam Wilson, Daniel Hamilton, and the band Island Boy at Mellow Pages Library in Bushwick. More information below.

October 17 7:30 pm

Two paragons of poor taste—two offensive linemen known for crossing the line—team up on the gridiron of Mellow Pages Library for an evening of filmic appropriation and stealth assaults on language. Darius James and Adam Wilson will be joined by musical guest Island Boy as well as Daniel Hamilton and Ben Bush.

Darius James is the author of Negrophobia: An Urban Parable and That’s Blaxploitation: Roots of the Baadasssss ‘Tude (Rated X by an All’Whyte Jury). He co-wrote and appeared in the 2013 documentary The United States of Hoodoo. James also wrote the Ask Dr. Snakeskin column for Penthouse magazine.

Adam Wilson is the author of Flatscreen and the forthcoming collection of short stories What’s Important is Feeling. His writing has appeared in Paris Review, Tin House, and New York Tyrant. Continue reading

John Haskell! Matthew Derby! Camden Joy! Lonely Christopher!

Super Flat TimesFour Remarkable Writers Join Forces at Unnameable Books in Brooklyn, NY
Sunday October 23, 2011 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

John Haskell is the author of a pair of novels, most recently Out of My Skin (FSG) about the spiritual journey of a Steve Martin impersonator and the collection of short stories, I’m Not Jackson Pollock. His work has been praised by Nick Cave, A.M. Homes, Geoff Dyer and Ben Marcus.

Matthew Derby is the author of Super Flat Times: Stories (Back Bay Books, 2003).  His writing has appeared in Fence, Conjunctions, McSweeney’s, and The Believer, where he served in various editing capacities from 2003 to 2007. Continue reading